The Israeli Jiu-Jitsu team participating in the European Championships in Croatia has achieved a strong showing for the Jewish state.
The third day of the championships ended Saturday, with the Israeli athletes winning a total of 5 medals (1 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze) in addition to the 7 medals won by the team members in the previous days, including 3 gold medals.
In the men's under-94 kg competition, Israeli Jiu-Jitsu teammates Avi Ibragimov and Roy Dagan competed against on another in the final match. Ibragimov won the match with a quick knockout, taking the gold medal and the title of European champion.
Dagan picked up the silver medal.
In the weight category, under-85 kg, Saar Shemesh won the bronze medal after a victory over a Swiss opponent in the medal match.
In the women's event, during the under-63 kg category, Naomi McGowan won the bronze medal, winning 4 out of 5 fights. In the weight category under-48 kg, Sara Kobielev, who was born deaf, won the silver medal.
The Israeli Jiu-Jitsu team will conclude its participation in the European Championships during a team competition, where it hopes to win one more medal.
The team's coach, Amir Boaron, said: “The team finishes the championship with 12 individual medals. After a difficult period in the country, we managed to play the national anthem four times and also be the delegation with the highest number of medals. Tomorrow [Sunday] the team will participate in the team competition and we look forward to playing the anthem again.”
Haniel Shukman, who won the gold medal in his weight category on Friday, said, “A moment of happiness in the midst of pain, satisfaction in deep suffering. I am proud to represent the nation and our people in such a difficult time."
I hope and pray for better days. It is my desire to dedicate this medal to all the fighters of the IDF and the suffering families of Israel,” Shukman said.
Erez Alrai, chairman of the Israeli Jiu-Jitsu Association said, “We are proud to represent the country, especially during this difficult time. The team has shown strong character and amazing ability, without a doubt, we are now the strongest team in Europe. I would like to thank the Eilat Association for all the support throughout the year and during this period, in particular, and of course the professional staff for the amazing work.”
"Our athletes prove, championship after championship, that non-Olympic sports in Israel are among the best in the world. I am proud of our athletes and coaches for the great honor and pride they bring to our country, especially in these days,” said the president of the Eilat Association, Arik Kaplan.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.